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Monday 11 December 2017

Alan Pardew faces up to Magpies for the first time since leaving

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew concedes Wednesday's clash with former club Newcastle will be
Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew concedes Wednesday's clash with former club Newcastle will be "emotional"

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew will face his former employers for the first time when the Eagles host Newcastle in the Premier League tonight.

Pardew (below) endured a turbulent relationship with the Newcastle fans during his four years at the club, with many calling for him to be sacked earlier this season before a run of six wins in a row eased some of the pressure.

The former West Ham boss chose not to hold a press conference on Tuesday ahead of his reunion with the Magpies, perhaps keen to avoid further interrogation about his time in the north east.

Newcastle have, however, struggled since Pardew moved to Selhurst Park, winning just once in their last six matches, while Palace have been sparked into life.

The Eagles won all of their first four matches under their new boss and a 1-0 victory at Leicester on Saturday means they are now 13th in the table and six points clear of relegation.

Pardew is unlikely to be given a warm reception from the Geordie fans but the reality is that victory would see his side climb to within two points of their opponents.

It would also extend their cushion above the bottom three ahead of a difficult month that includes an FA Cup clash with Liverpool before league fixtures against Arsenal, West Ham and Southampton.

Newcastle manager John Carver, who will remain in charge until the end of the season, is already feeling the heat of the dugout after his team were booed off following a 1-1 draw with Stoke on Sunday.

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